How to Announce a Price Increase to Customers

Customers don’t like price increases, but if you get the messaging right, you can usually avoid pushback and still retain their business

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Many businesses boast about their low prices, or their efforts to make their services as affordable as possible. In some situations, though, companies have little choice but to raise rates. This may be necessary to keep up with inflation, to account for higher labor or supply costs, or simply to keep pace with the industry.

Naturally, announcing that your prices are increasing can be dicey, potentially angering customers and even costing you business. While these unwelcome outcomes cannot always be avoided, there are certainly some steps that businesses can take to make their pricing announcement easier to swallow.

1) Be direct.

First and foremost, make sure you directly address the price increase before it goes into effect. Imagine how upset you would be if your Netflix subscription suddenly increased by $10, without a word of warning. You don’t want your customers to be blindsided. Send out an email letter to your past customers and clients, letting them know the situation (including when the price increase will go into effect).

2) Give customers some time.

If at all possible, give customers a month or two of notice. This allows them to wrap their heads around the price change, and also to go ahead and schedule any services they know they need now, before rates go up.

3) Tie cost to quality.

Your customers will want some justification for why you’re increasing prices. Often, the best bet is to remind them that, sometimes, higher prices are needed to ensure higher quality. Specifically, you can let customers know you’re raising prices so that you can hire more service technicians, expand hours of operation, or invest in new equipment — measures that will ultimately benefit your customers, providing more responsive service.  

4) Be specific.

This isn’t always possible, but in some situations, it may actually benefit you to be very specific in explaining your price increase. For example, if you need to increase prices because the cost of a certain material has skyrocketed, say as much, so that customers can have a clear rationale.

5) Invite questions.

Another way to help customers process a price increase is to let them know they can reach out with questions or concerns. Just make sure your customer service team is briefed on how best to respond.

6) Notify your entire team.

Before you announce a price increase to your customers, you’ll certainly want to announce it to your entire team. The last thing you need is for a customer service rep to be caught off guard by a pricing question, or for a field technician to under-charge a customer because they just didn’t get the memo.

Customers are never exactly wild about price increases, but if you get the messaging just right, you can usually avoid mass protest or erosion of your clientele. Use these tips to announce your price hike as tactfully and respectfully as possible.

About the Author

Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic, a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and she's currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, California and Dublin. Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects; often engages in content and social media marketing; and drafts resumes, press releases, web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at www.grammarchic.net.



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